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Will Turkmenistan’s Education Reform Work?

Turkmenistan's switch to a 12-year educational system is the clearest sign to date of the cataclysmic lack of intellectual capital created by poor and often erratic policy.

The change, which is to take effect on September 1, will see the period of mandatory education increased from the current 10 years.

A presidential decree published in newspapers Saturday talks about wanting to bring up "deeply educated, broad-minded and talented individuals" in the era of "might and happiness."

If those qualities have been wanting, the causes go back to 1991, when the late President Saparmurat Niyazov introduced a nine-year curriculum, flying in the face of pedagogical practice the world round. It was a short step from that to abolishing the Academy of Sciences and reducing the minimum period of theoretical instruction in higher education institutes, a holdover of the Soviet system, from five to two years.

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Will Turkmenistan’s Education Reform Work?

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